13th Annual Japan Day @ Central Park

Wow! Incredible to think that we’ve been managing Japan Day @ Central Park for 11 of its 13 years! This year’s artwork is by the Grand Prize Winner, Lyubava Kroll!

This year’s festival will take place on Sunday, May 12th in Central Park’s Bandshell. As always, the day starts at 8am with a 5k run. At 9:30am, the activity tents open. Activities include some tech tents, traditional and contemporary activities, but most importantly – HELLO KITTY!

The stage show will start at 10:30am and promises to wow and entertain the audiences until 4pm! At 11:30am, the infamous foot tents open and will serve a variety of complimentary Japanese cuisine!

The mission of Japan Day is to show the local Japanese community’s appreciation toward their home city, New York; to build bridges of cultural understanding between the people of Japan and the U.S.; to facilitate stronger grassroots connections within the Japanese local community.

20 years ago and still relevant today…

[This is for the women of Stephens College, specifically those there the 1995-96 year, all current graduates everywhere entering the real world, and to the entire LGBT community.]

Twenty years ago I was a senior at Stephens College, the second oldest woman’s college in the country, and resident director of the freshmen (or freshwomen as we called them) honor’s dorm, a dorm which I actually lived in my previous two years (first as a newcomer and then as a resident assistant).

Early in the school year, there was an event that has gone down in history as the ‘chalking incident.’ It was National Coming Out Day, and a group (some gay, some straight, all my dearest friends) had written words of encouragement in chalk on the sidewalks within the school’s grounds. Things like, ‘It’s ok to be gay!’ ‘Come out, come out whoever you are!’ ‘National Coming Out Day!’ ‘You are not alone!’ were written in chalk – just as it had been done in the past and just as other organizations had done. From Sororities during rush, to Student Government during elections, there had been no censoring during my school years, until Oct 1995. I wasn’t a part of the group to chalk, as I was either studying, memorizing lines or making out with a guy – maybe all three.

Everyone awoke to the positive messages, including myself, and went to classes just like any normal day. But by 1pm, we walked the campus to find the custodial staff power-washing the sidewalks with bleach. It was completely jarring, demeaning and disgraceful. You see, there would be a Board of Directors meeting later that day, and apparently it wasn’t in good taste to have the sidewalks written with homosexual phrases. The administration attempted to sidestep the issue at hand, but it was quite apparent what was going on.

We were outraged, humiliated, and sadden. We met with school officials (except for the President, as she wasn’t ‘available’) to discuss this issue and more, but no one had an answer or an apology.  It was fuel to the fire of the already angry student body after the announced master plan which not only directly affected majors, housing, and faculty but also students. So we protested in front of the President’s home one evening, and she came out (no pun intended) to talk with us, only to find that we had invited the press as well.

tribune chalkI didn’t plan on being at the forefront of it all. I wasn’t even a part of the actual chalking, but I knew in my heart of hearts that what was happening was wrong. I didn’t think that out of all of the amazingly, well-spoken, courageous women standing next to me, side by side, that it would be me that they’d look to. But there I was, the next morning on the cover of the Columbia Tribune, standing in the front, with the President trying to explain herself. The next day the Director of Resident Life said that the President wanted to meet with me to discuss everything that had happened. Wow! Was this the moment?, I wondered. Knowing that she’d have her associate there, as always, and that it could easily be a she said / she said, I brought in a third party, not a student, to be there with me and to record the conversation (ok, maybe that was overkill, but you if you knew this President, you’d have been wearing a surveillance camera and had a van outside listening).

Needless to say, she wasn’t pleased. And she was even more displeased when I started the conversation, as she thought I was there to apologize. Well, you can imagine my reaction and my refusal to be sorry for anything that had transpired on behalf of all students, and that it was she who should be apologizing. She then stood up, carried my backpack out of her office and said that if I didn’t leave immediately that she’d call security to take me out, and that I should think about my actions or I’d be fired from Resident Life or kicked out of school.

The days that followed had me meeting with a number of teachers, department heads, and more. Some I had known personally, some I never even took a single class from, but all showing their amazing support. One instructor, in particular, Dr. Scruggs, gave me the encouragement that I needed to finish my final year with my head high. And I did, we all did. And when we walked that stage at commencement, months later, with some thinking it was all behind us, we left our mark. We cheerfully accepted our diploma, and happily shook the President’s hand with a piece of chalk in tow. She left that day with a bucket full, a little powder on her robes, and a reminder that a Stephens Woman is both seen and heard.

But before that day, Dr. Scruggs spoke at our Baccalaureate ceremony. And then days later, he sent me the speech, that I’ve kept for the past 20 years, as a reminder of our ‘heroic behavior,’ as he called it. But to me, and others, it wasn’t heroic at all. It was simply the right thing to do. And it reminds me to this day how fortunate I am to have had mentors in my life that supported and challenged me during a time of turmoil. Also, that by standing up to outright bigotry, you are standing up for hundreds of others.  So if each of us stood up, imagine what statement could be made.

Below is Dr. Scruggs’ note to me, along with his speech. Enjoy.

May 16, 1996

Dear Laurie,

Here is something for your ‘scrapbook’ of your senior year at Stephens.  There is a lot of you in this text.  Thank you for your strength this year.  It meant a lot to me and many others.

Keep in touch.

Peace and love,

Donald L. Scruggs, PH.D.




By Donald L. Scruggs, PH.D.


                This morning is the time to reflect on the spirit, the necessary complement to the intellect; that which gives meaning to our lives, the principles upon which we base our actions; that which instructs us to know when it is time to stand still, reflect on the givens in our lives, to learn who we are and what we can be; that which instructs us when it is time to move, to reach for the stars, to transcend what we take to be the securities of our immediate lives, to seize the moment, to take real risks to make this a better world, regardless of what such actions might do to our personal futures.

The spirit is informed by the intellect, a process we on the faculty have helped you develop; but it is the honing and refining of the quality of your spirit which gives or takes meaning from your lives.  And it is important to know that a spiritual life is not just an individual matter; it has a collective dimension.  It is the interplay between the two I want to talk about with you this morning.

You came to this academic community with individual histories, abilities and goals.  Most of you came here four years ago, others several years before then.  Most came from high school, took five or six courses a semester and are leaving, much to your parent’s delight, in the standard four years.  Others of you came here well past your high school years, with full-time jobs, with families, many as single mothers; you took one, maybe two, courses a semester for many years; or you’ve taken courses every Friday and Saturday for at least three years; you persevered and today you will join with the rest, making yourselves and those who have supported you proud of your achievements.  And proud all of you should be.

During your time here your personal histories, your intellects, your spirits, have been enhanced and refined, but they have also been blended into one, which the Alumnae Office and Association will forever call the Class of 1996.  You, however, know it as more special than that; it is a common spirit, which cannot be bound by the name given it by this institution.  It takes its name from each of you, from Brenda, Kathy, Tameshia, Beth, Laurie, Kate and a host of others.  And, for the residential students in particular, that spirit has been severely tested from the day you arrived until now, and you have not been found wanting.

For the past weeks many of you have told each other that you are about to enter the ‘real’ world.  I’ll bet even your family members have said that.  You should know better.  If the world of Stephens College is not real, it will do until something ‘more real’ comes along.  You have known, for instance, joy, sorrow, violence, tenderness and love; you have participated in the most massive set of changes in the life of this college since it moved from being a two-year to a four-year institution.  You began under the administration of Patsy Samson and Mary Kitterman and you leave under that of Marcia Kierscht and Bob Badal.  In between you witnessed the exodus, some voluntary, some forced, some by death, of a large number of your teachers, librarians, and administrators.  I shall not read the list of their names; my colleague Alan Havig did that for you in his toast at the Senior Banquet last week, and I, for one, am deeply grateful he did; it is, indeed, a distinguished list of highly valued, treasured, members of this community; some of their positions have been filled, but precious few of those colleagues can be replaced.

Too, you have experienced a massive reorganization of the curriculum.  Programs were eliminated during your time here, others were severely truncated; new programs were introduced.  The impact of all this on your degree programs was great, but you persevered and prospered.

As if those events were not important enough, your spirit was most severely tested during that particular set of events to which we have given various names; the great chalking controversy, the national coming out day flap, the fight for student rights, are among those we can mention in polite company.  I’ll bet, for the rest of your lives, when the term ‘chalking’ is used in your presence, you will smile, because it will invoke a unique memory of this academic year.  I know it will for me.  All of you were tested, and all of us were enriched by those who met the challenge head on, rising to levels of spiritual excellence for which they should be proud all their lives.  Some of your classmates were demeaned, demonetized and degraded.  But, and most important, they were also supported, loved, and shown their worth as human beings by many present in this room today.  Twice during those trying days, I had encounters with members of this class, the memory of which will remain with me as one of the high points in my life.  On separate occasions two of your classmates sat in my office, one in rage and one in tears over what was happening to them and some of their peers.  I cred real tears of sorrow and joy with them; sorrow for the pain bigotry brings on its victims; joy over the strength of character, indeed of spirit, those two women were showing me.  They stood their ground and fought hard and well for justice and basic rights.  We all should be very proud of them because they showed all of use, once again, that liberty, dignity, and a sense of self-worth cannot be easily won or maintained, BUT that we must try, lest the reality of love, justice and basic human decency be lost for us and our posterity.  They, and through them you, learned that those values must be refined generation in and generation out in order to meet the challenges presented to us by those who would take from us our hard won freedom.  Members of this class did not fail that test and for that you can be proud; for that all of our spiritual lives have been enriched.  Those of us who remain will be always grateful for the witness many of you bore to the truth which sets us free from intolerance and bigotry.

One last thing must be said about the care and nurturing of the spirit I have been talking about.  The great institutional changes and the great struggles for rights you have engaged in have been the most important part of your education here.  Yes, you’ve learned to write well, to probe the depths of the human experiences, to practice the scientific method, to dance beautifully, to act professionally, but that all was prologue to the learning forced on you by the social changes and challenges you have all experienced.  Those periods of change and turmoil were the great teaching and learning moments of your college career.  It was in meeting the challenges they presented to you individually and collectively that your spiritual lives were enlarged and enriched.

But, and remember this, you will have to relearn this lesson, over and over again.  It is not easy for me to tell you that the more things change, the more they remain the same, because it reminds me how many times I’ve had to say it to myself.  It is true, nevertheless.  Rights always must be fought for and defended, because there are always those who will attack them and try to take them away for the sake of the few who are in power.  But, your experiences during your time here have strengthened your spiritual lives so you can face the challenges and turmoil in the world you have inherited from us.  But, this wisdom was not our creation; it came to us from the real ancients.  It was they who reached the level of enlightenment; we contemporary ancients have just arrived at the age of entitlement; believe me, there is an important difference.

Two chapters before the reading you heard earlier, the Preacher, the Son of David, King in Jerusalem, had this to say:

Vanity of vanities, says the preacher, Vanity of Vanities!  All is vanity.

What does a man gain by the toil at which he toils under the sun?

A generation goes, and a generation comes.  But the earth remains forever.

The sun rises, and the sun goes down

and hastens to the place where it rises.

The wind blows to the south,

And goes round to the north; round and round goes the

Wind, and on its circuits the wind returns.

All streams run to the sea,

A man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing,

Nor the ear filled with hearing.

What has been will be,

And what has been done is what will be done;

And there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there a thing of which it is said, ‘See, this is new?’

It has been already, in the ages before us.

There is no remembrance of former things,

Nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to

Happen among those who come after


It is the wisdom in the teaching found in these last sections that is the hardest to appropriate and understand.  If we do not probe it to its depths, to know the tragic history of human kind, we shall be condemned, as Winston Churchill told his generation, to relive it.

That is not the most optimistic of contributions to our collective wisdom, but understanding it is essential to the maturation of our spiritual lives.  Buried dep in the message of the Preacher is yet another truth you have come to know, spiritually, if not intellectually.  It is embodied in another Biblical teaching:  You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.  We have done all we can to free you.  Now it is your turn to open the possibility of freedom to those who follow you.

I leave you with three benedictions.  The first from my favorite TV series, ‘Hill Street Blues.’ It was given in every episode by the precinct sergeant to his duty officers as they were about to go into the streets to do their duty for the citizens of their city.  I say to you, as he warned them, ‘Be careful, it’s a jungle out there!’ I want to add, ‘…and take care of each other.’

The second comes from my heart:  Live long, productive lives and when you leave this world, may it be a better place because you have lived in it.

The third is from the deep well that has nourished true spirituality for centuries:

Go in peace.

And may the peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge of the love that makes us one.


Goodbye, and peace and love to each of you.

10th Annual Japan Day 2016

poster webThis year marks the 10th annual Japan Day @ Central Park. The mission of Japan Day is to show the local Japanese community’s appreciation toward their home city, New York; to build bridges of cultural understanding between the people of Japan and the U.S.; to facilitate stronger grassroots connections within the Japanese local community.

2016 marks my 8th year managing the festival.  Each year brings new activities, food and stage events.  This year’s festival is on Sunday, May 8th in Central Park’s Bandshell and Rumsey Playfield!  The day starts at 8am with a 5k run.  At 9am, the activity, tea and snack tents open.  This year, there are a number of ‘tech tents’ to experience, as well as traditional activities that have been at Japan Day since its inception. The stage show starts at 10:30am in Rumsey Playfield.  At 11:30am, the infamous food tents open and are ready to serve a variety of complimentary Japanese cuisine!

See you there!

Values I learned in Vietnam.

I understand why Elizabeth Van Meter, filmmaker and creator of Thao’s Library, fell in love with Vietnam. Back Story: Thao, now 30, born with severe birth defects from Agent Orange, taught herself to read and write, and built a library to help children in her village do the same.  Thao’s Library tells of her struggles, as well as Elizabeth’s who, after the sudden death of her famed younger sister, was looking for a purpose – a reason to keep going.  She found that in Thao. Despite the language and cultural barriers, the two forge an unlikely sisterhood and embark on an ambitious journey that will change their lives forever. (For the rest of the story, see the movie online and on demand. You’ll be forever changed click HERE.)

When I was questioning whether or not I’d join Elizabeth on her return trip to Vietnam, to put the final chapter on the film’s story, I was going through the same excuses as all do in life.  I’m too busy, it’s too expensive, I have too much stuff to do.  And if it were not for my husband, pressuring me to go, reassuring me that all would be alright and that this was a moment of a lifetime, I would have never hit the ‘click here to purchase’ button.  And at the same time, I would have never felt more alive as a human being, even now now, months afterwards.

[Before I continue with what I learned in Vietnam, you should know that Elizabeth is currently performing her stage show of THAO’S Library, running right now at the Lion Theatre. For more information, click here.]

I am in fact forever a changed person, for so many reasons. I documented each day’s adventures on Facebook, but it wasn’t until I returned and was thrown back into my ‘normal’ life that I started to realize what I’ve truly learned.

raw 3Value #1 – the beauty of raw nature:  We can all appreciate beautifully manicured gardens, set with dozens of caretakers and irrigation systems made to keep them in order. But it’s truly the raw nature which I found utterly mesmerizing. The lush trees, the wild flowers found alongside the roads, the mountains filled with green growing in each crack and crevice. Then there were the animals, living wild and free among the humans. Cats and dogs roaming naturally, timid and untamed.

orphan 2Value #2 – the effects of war:  I won’t get into the politics of the Vietnam War, but I will say that the long-term effects of what the US did by using Agent Orange was seen at every corner from the moment we landed until we left. We may not have known the effects of our actions then, but warthere’s no reason we can’t accept the blame for what can be seen every day since, over 40 years later. I saw young women and men born years afterwards, kids and babies, with bodies and brains ravaged. Some able to communicate fully, like Thao, orphan 3and have a clear thinking mind. Some so ravaged so badly they are left to live their lives, sometimes in their own filth, hoping that you could understands what they’re thinking by purely looking into their eyes. And others, so far gone, it’s as if they were born with no soul to even know the difference between yesterday and tomorrow. (More on these kids below.) On the streets of Ho Chi Minh City it was the image of a father and son walking down the sidewalk that sticks with me. The son, no older than five, carrying several bags of groceries, while the father, born with no legs, walked around with sandals on his hands. Both of them striding along slowly, all the while rush hour mopeds weaved in and around them – on the sidewalk.

IMG_5478.JPGtouchValue #3 – the need for human touch
Twice we visited the orphanage featured in the film, seeing some kids five years after Elizabeth first met them. The images will haunt me forever of not just kids, but also adults, abandoned. The able-bodied kids were thirsty for the slightest of attention. Those couldn’t move on their own were left to stay in their metal cribs, and you saw a sense of yearning by just looking into their eyes.  Then there were the ones tied down for their own safety looking at you blankly as if you were a window.  But when I passed by a metal crib, an arm grabbed mine. Taken aback, I couldn’t pull away because when I looked down it was a grown woman, body twisted, head shaved (to deter lice).  I looked down at her and saw pure sadness, so I gave in as she slowly pulled my hand to my face.  As I kept my hand there, her expression softened to one of pure content.  She merely wanted me to touch her.  It was a feeling of accomplishment like no other.  One thing each of them yearned for was simply the human touch. We are all fortunate that we are born to the lives we’ve been given. Some have no choice in the matter. These souls, and so many others will never be given a chance at anything better than what you see here.

givingValue #4 – the gift of giving:  Thao embodies this, but I truly saw it within almost every person I came into contact with, most importantly, the young adults.  You can see teenagers and twenty somethings constantly binh 1going above and beyond to assist others, so willingly and with great devotion.  It was so beautiful.  It could have been the smallest of tasks, but there they were, present and able to help.  We must remember that no matter where we are in our lives, we are ALWAYS in a position to help someone less fortunate.

educ 1 educ 2Value #5 – the yearning to be educated:  This is something that exists in our own country.  But in a place where books, arts and education are lacking, it’s a wonder when you see a child rush into a room where there are books and be instantly consumed.  Or when you pour a pack of crayons and paper hearts on the floor, how they suddenly are transitioned to another world.  From the village children to those in the orphanage, it was the same.  It was their basic human instinct to know and learn more, and it was a wonder to experience it unfold before my eyes.

fam 2Value #6 – the meaning of family:  The concept of family in Vietnam is astounding.  The caring, dedication, devotion and more.  The unconditional love of Thao and her family and how beyond all odds they have created their own world which is the epitome of peace and commitment.  At every hour of the day, they are there for one another. Some young adults were blown away that we didn’t live with or near our parents.  Not appalled, just a concept that they never even considered, because being with their family was the most important connection they possess.

little.raw.fam kitchenValue #7 – the appreciation of the ‘little things’:  When you’re thrown into a world that is completely opposite of your own, it takes a couple of days to adjust.  But then you see it.  The little things that you constantly take for granted, you realize are the things that either mean the most to you or don’t matter at all.  If you’re reading this, then nine times out of ten you have been born into an incredibly fortunate position in this world.  You most likely have all the things you need to live – food, clothes, and an education.  So for just one moment, stop.  What if things were different? What if you were born with a disability without any blame to your parents, and they couldn’t care for you?  Or even born healthy for that matter, but your parents didn’t have the means to support you? And then you were left, abandoned.  Of even born into a loving family, but lack things we think we automatically deserve simply because, well, we do.   Whether it be clean water, a hair dryer, the ability to feed yourself, the need for a Q-tip – all of it.  When you’re in a world that doesn’t automatically afford you the luxuries that make your life at home so simple, you’re reminded of how lucky you are simply to born in society where things come easy and without effort.








After more than 20 years, we have decided to open our own company of consultation, management, creative development, design and more, and not just limit our talents to live entertainment or special events.  I’ll admit it. This was for me, more than it was for my partner in crime.  I’ve spent the last 14 years learning more, playing more and working harder than at any other time in my entire life.  However, it was time to for me to step away and work on projects that I truly believe in.  Projects which mean something  – to me and to others.

I speak and work from both my heart and my head.  I pride myself in being truthful and realistic.  I won’t pretend that something will work just to appease its creator.  Don’t get me wrong.  I want projects to succeed, whether I’m a part of them or not.  But the truth is that some things simply won’t work, no matter how hard you try or how much money you put into them.

On the other hand, I also pride myself in thinking outside of the box, working on projects and subject matter that no one else knows how to manage.  My adrenaline reaches a high when I see the potential in something, which others see as impossible.  I enjoy taking all of the skills and resources from the variety of outlets I’ve been a part of and bringing them together to create something never before achieved.

So until then, stay tuned to see what unfolds.  Because you never know, it could even be in your own backyard.


Logo 8.5w@300 RGB 2Japan Day @ Central Park is an annual celebration which celebrates the culture of Japan, and is a ‘thank you’ to New York for hosting its citizens for more than 100 years. The day starts with a 5k race in Central Park ending at the infamous Bandshell stage, which is filled with activity tents for all ages – origamis, calligraphy, yukata, kabuki face-painting and many more.  Live performances include traditional Japanese dancing, music and drumming to karate demonstrations to a variety of Japanese visual artists and ending with modern performers and music direct from the native country.  Authentic Japanese food, snacks and drinks are distributed at no charge throughout the entire day.   Each year the event brings together over 50,000 New Yorkers to celebrate love for Japan.  See more details about the next Japan Day HERE.  For more information, go to www.JapanDayNYC.org

Stage performers from the 10th Annual Japan Day @ Central Park, May 2016

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Center.LogoThe Center at West Park, a non-profit independent organization, is dedicated to the challenging and essential work of personal and social transformation through the pathways of culture and the arts, social activism, lifelong learning, and the cultivation of wonder and the human spirit. Located in a diverse, “crossroads” neighborhood on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and housed in the recently landmarked West Park Church building, it provides a space in the EXTERIOR BESTcity of New York where encounters across differences can find a home and where ideas, endeavors, and movements can take shape. As Director of Operations for The Center at West Park, Laurie has increased the income for the building by more than 200% in less than a year, renovated and restored more than 2,000 square feet of interior and worked with NYC Landmarks commission to restore sections of the exterior.  www.CenterAtWestPark.com & www.WestParkPresbyterian.org

AMM LOGO 600pxFor the past 12 years, Laurie has served as Maze Designer for The American Maze Company and The Amazing Maize Maze, a 3-time Guinness World Record Winner.  She has worked side by side with farmers in upstate New York, Pennsylvania Amish Country, historic North Carolina and Jamestown VA, rural towns on the outskirt of Manchester England, the oldest working farm in New York, the Queens County Farm Museum in Floral Park and more!  Each summer presents new themes, designs and challenges!  Find the closest maze near you and get lost!


The Award Winning Charles M. Schulz  musical stars young Broadway actors, at the iconic York Theater.  Directed by Michael Unger with choreography by Jennifer Paulson, Graham Kindred designed the lights.

In a rare moment, Graham was excited to share one of his projects with his twin daughters.

butcherNew York Times Critics’ Pick, Catch the Butcher, kicked off Greenwich Village’s Cherry Lane Theatre’s 92nd Anniversary Season.  Directed by Valentina Fratti, Lighting Design by Graham Kindred, scenic design by Lauren Helpurn, sound design by Quentin Chiapetta and starring Lauren Luna Velez (Showtime’s Dexter) and Jonathan Walker who played poetic serial killer who’s latest victim liked it.



is the first SeaWorld Adventure Parks’ killer whale show to be featured at all three parks – Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio.  Laurie worked from 2004-2006 as Project Manager for the multi-million dollar roll-out of BELIEVE, which included managing the vendor bidding process, production budget, the physical installation (4 – 10×20 moving LED screens each powered by a 5 ton chain motor, multiple live cameras including overhead and underwater, and more.  During each park’s installation, Laurie served as Video Director, syncing IMAG, pre-recorded video, and photos of the audience.



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An award-winning documentary feature, which was released nationwide in October 2015 in twenty cities across the country and is now available for streaming on demand, rental and digital purchase!  Winner of the Audience Award at the Bentonville Film Festival and the Interfaith Award for Best Documentary at St. Louis International Film Festival, THAO’S LIBRARY was also screened at five other film festivals before becoming available nationwide.

Forty years after the Fall of Saigon, a young Vietnamese woman is among the Vietnam War’s uncounted casualties. Born near fields where American planes sprayed Agent Orange, Thao lives with severe physical deformities. Halfway around the world, a woman in New York is struggling to cope after the sudden death of her famed younger sister. In the midst of her crippling depression, a friend shows Elizabeth a black-and-white photograph from a recent trip abroad. The image haunts Elizabeth. It shows Thao sitting in a wheelchair outside a shed that houses pig feed, fertilizer — and books. Despite her disabilities, Thao had set up a makeshift library for children in her village. The photographer who captured the image had asked, “If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?” Thao replied, “Three hundred dollars, so I could buy more books.” Through this simple request, Thao and Elizabeth are brought together, forging an unlikely sisterhood, transcending language and culture. The two women reflect on the past and confront the present, changing both lives forever.  www.ThaosLibrary.com